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Education Assistant Certificate

Work in a classroom setting making a difference supporting children with diverse learning needs! The 8-month (full-time) Education Assistant Certificate program will prepare you to work alongside teachers and education professionals supporting the cognitive, psychological, social and emotional development of children and adolescents who have a wide range of exceptionalities.

The Education Assistant Certificate program can also be taken part-time, online. Please note that learners planning on taking the program online will only be able to take online courses; those taking the program in-class will only be taking in-class courses.

The program combines innovative classroom learning methods with practicum experience to lay the foundation for a rewarding and challenging career that can support positive change in the lives of others.

Students registered in the Education Assistant Certificate program are encouraged to write the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) assessment in semester one.

Plan on extending your education? Enrol in additional courses and complete the Disability Studies Diploma in just over a year.

Instructor Bios

Education Assistant Instructor Bios

Courses in Program

Curriculum Subject to Change

Click on the course to view the course description.

Semester 1

EDAS1302 - Introduction to Exceptionalities (3 credits, 45 hours) [Available online - Fall 2016]

This course develops knowledge of the history, philosophy, legislation, values, trends and isues related to exceptional learners. It explores student inclusion and provides a wide overview of exceptionalities ranging from mild to severe and child to adulthood. Access and retrieval of information on exceptionalities is emphasized.

ENGL1201 - English Composition (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course focuses on the development and practice of fundamental writing skills with an overview of the writing process and an emphasis on grammar, and forms of written communication for educational settings including developing writing strategies, writing essays, business writing, and proofreading.

HMSV1302 - Assistive Technology and Principles of Universal Design (3 credits, 45 hours) [Available online - Fall 2016]

In this course learners will explore a variety of current assistive technologies and how these tools can be used to increase access for people with disabilities. Learners will develop strategies to effectively introduce and integrate assistive technology. Learners will explore the principles of universal design and how these principles can increase access for all students by modifying previously created resources so that they are accessible and usable for people with disabilities or special needs.

EDAS1202 - Language and Literacy (3 credits, 45 hours) [Available online - Fall 2016)

This course examines theory, principles, concepts, and instructional strategies related to expressive and receptive language and literacy development. It focuses on assisting students with reading and writing processes and adapting strategies, materials, and activities to meet the needs of individual students.

ELCC1301 - Child Development: An Introduction (3 credits, 45 hours) [Available online}

This introductory course focuses on the development of children from conception to twelve years of age, including the physical child, the thinking child, the social child and the whole child, as well as introducing atypical development. Students will study key theories and theorists in child development.

EDAS1998 - Introduction to the Inclusive Classroom (3 credits, 90 hours) [Seminar available online]

This is a two-part course that consists of a weekly 2-hour seminar on campus and 10 days of practicum experience in local schools. This is designed to give the student an opportunity to have a hands-on experience in working with children and make connections between theory and practice. The weekly seminars focus on developing knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the assistant as an educational team member in a wide variety of settings. Seminars address the skills and attitudes necessary for an assistant to work professionally and effectively within legal and ethical standards and provincial guidelines. Confidentiality and professionalism are stressed throughout both parts of this course. The philosophy and educational concepts associated with inclusion and diversity form the foundation for this class.

Semester 2

COMM1101 - Interpersonal Relationships and Communication Skills (3 credits, 45 hours)

Healthy interpersonal relationships are central to our happiness, overall well-being, and work place success. Effective communication, including mindful listening, conflict resolution, non-verbal communication, managing emotions, and perception checking, are critical in such interpersonal relationships. This course has been designed to aid students as they develop strategies necessary for effective and accurate communication in relationship with others, whether those relationships exist in a work place, a family, a friendship, or a classroom. It focuses on the development of personal strengths and self-awareness that contribute to the development of communication skills and positive relationships.

EDAS1303 - Working with Exceptionalities (3 credits, 45 hours) [Available Online - Winter 2017]

This course builds on the Introduction to Exceptionalities. It focuses on teaching/learning strategies and interventions for learners with specific exceptional needs. Resources, assessment procedures and inclusion of individuals with exceptionalities are addressed. The integration of theory, principles and concepts when determining strategies, materials, and activities for exceptional learners is emphasized. An introduction to assistive technology is included.

EDAS1301 - Observation and Behaviour (3 credits, 45 hours) [Available Online - Winter 2017]

This course focuses on conducting and recording observations of student progress and behaviour, and on beginning to develop an understanding of the assistant’s role in classroom management. Following this, it will examine attitudes, skills, and strategies that encourage positive student behaviour. A variety of practical approaches to understanding and managing student behaviour, and for dealing with students exhibiting behavioural difficulties will be explored.

EDAS1201 - Instructional Strategies Across the Curriculum (3 credits, 45 hours) [Available Online - Winter 2017]

This course focuses on learning process and the application of learning principles in providing instructional support to learners. It provides knowledge of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and materials to assist students across the curriculum. It explores techniques to reinforce, adjust and modify tasks to meet the needs of individual students.

EDAS1999 - Practicum and Seminar 2: Working in a Complex Classroom Setting (6 credits, 210 hours)

This is a two-part course that consists of a weekly 2-hour seminar and 30 days of practicum experience in local schools. The weekly seminars provide an opportunity to discuss the practicum experiences. Topics for the seminars emerge as a result of suggestions made by students and may range from personal and professional development and growth to strategies for working with colleagues and students. The practicum section of this course is designed to give the student an opportunity to continue working as an education assistant and make further connections between theory and practice. Students will be expected to apply the skills that they have been introduced to throughout the first semester as well as the skills they are acquiring in the second semester. The practicum provides hands-on experience working, under the direction of the classroom teacher, directly with students in their educational programs. Confidentiality and professionalism are stressed throughout both parts of this course.

Optional International Practicum

HMSV2999 - International Human Services (7 credits, 245 hours)

The International Human Services practicum experience is intended to provide students with the opportunity to expand their understanding of other cultures and experiences. This experience will provide students with the opportunity to take their educational training in the Human Services and apply the skills and knowledge in different ways. This experience will support the transfer of knowledge and skills through service learning. HMSV2999 is offered during the Spring/Summer semester at Bow Valley College and can be taken in your 2nd semester in place of the program specific practicum. Please note: a ‘Pass’ is required to be successful.


Admission Requirements - Currently subject to change

Academic Requirements

  • Credit in English 30-1 or a minimum final mark of 65% in English 30-2 or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the General Educational Development test (GED) test with a minimum score in the following sections:
    • Writing Skills: 520 minimum standard score
    • Interpreting Literature and Art: 520 minimum standard score
  • Satisfactory results on the BVC Admissions Test

Pre-Practicum Requirement

  • A current Police Information Check (PIC) with a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) must be submitted prior to practicum placements. The existence of a criminal record may postpone or prevent clinical, practicum, or field work placements and, subsequently, successful completion of the program.

English Language Proficiency Requirement